Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Over the past month we have been asking you to pray for the September 11th election in Croatia. This was the second election this year trying to get a working government. Even after this election no one party has a majority which means that unless the ministers swallow their pride and work together, there will be no reform. Unless there is reform the economy will remain a yoke that chokes progress.
A HDZ-led coalition under Mr. Plenković will hope to foster greater stability after the turbulence of the previous administration. The Croatian economy is among the weakest in the EU and relies hugely on the tourism industry of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline in particular. Overall unemployment has reached 13% and public debt has reached 85% of GDP, while the investment climate remains poor, as Croatia emerges from a six year recession. Political deadlock has prevented the enactment of key reforms over the past few years, while allocation of available EU funds since accession has also been problematic. Mending relations with its Balkan neighbors, in particular Serbia, will also be important in the next administration. (Sorry, no link is available for this article)
Croatia Soon to Become Poorest and Most Backward EU Nation
Croatia is in danger of becoming the poorest and most backward EU nation. This is seen in the data on purchasing power of citizens, showing Croatia is the only country that went backwards since 2008, while holding the second to last place in the EU, Večernji List reported on July 4, 2016.
1) Let us first of all, stand for the purposes of God in Croatia. We say YES to Gods destiny and no to the plans of the enemy to make Croatia the most Backward nation in the EU.
2) Pray for a shift in the economic climate of Croatia.
3) May there be a release of investments toward growth in Croatia. Having spent some time traveling last month through Croatia, I find a beautiful land that needs to be developed. May there be favorable laws passed in order to support the farmers of this land.
4) Pray for this new government to come together in the spirit of wisdom and co-operation. Pray that the ministers would react in favor of the people.
5) Pray for pro-business reforms that can stimulate the economy.
6) Pray for Croatia’s relations with Serbia. After nearly 25 years, there are still charged exchanges of words and sadly sometimes these exchanges are infused instead of defused. Pray they would find workable solutions to their disagreements. Pray for healing to flow and wash over the land.
7) Of course the overarching need in Croatia is revival in the churches and reformation in the culture. We pray for Holy Spirit to move across the land and soften hearts.
8) Pray God would raise up the burning ones in this nation who would be so on fire for more of Him, that they would overflow and impact their community for Jesus.
Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
We heard a speaker say the other day, “When Jesus met people He didn’t try to save them but He just loved them”. This is a liberating paradigm shift! To love with no agenda! Expecting nothing in return, but letting Holy Spirit draw those we love in the process. Jesus is the “living water” and He made people actually thirsty for the Kingdom. This is what Zagreb needs! More Christians loving their neighbors with no agenda, loving well. Of course Jesus died on the cross to save us but He built His Kingdom by loving people as He still does today.
At the Upper Room HOP we often pray for the churches of Zagreb and their pastors. Mid-summer 2015 the Lord spoke to us at IST about many transitions and shifting that would take place in the coming 12 months in several of the churches here in the city. As we birth the Upper Room Zagreb 11 months ago, we prayed a lot into this and for God to bless, give grace and guide the transitions. We have seen this very thing happen, he is truly creating new “wine skins”. There really are very few evangelical Christians in Zagreb. Among a population of 1 million, there are perhaps 2,000, of which about 40% are disenfranchised and do not attend any church. This is due to past church splits, personal disagreements, offences and just the spirit of division overall.
This past Sunday were Parliamentary elections here in Croatia, and Zagreb being the capital city, bares a large amount of the stress associated with elections. Hopelessness and voter apathy is wide spread in this city.
1) Let us pray for Christians in Zagreb to “love well”. Jesus’ compassion needs to be released in Zagreb. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NKJV)
2) We pray for a refreshing wind of His Spirit to blow across this city, that believers would have renewed passion for others.
3) We lift up the churches who have, and others that are still, in the midst of transition. For some, this means physical relocation, or adjusting to new leadership, for others restructuring, and yet others several of the above. Grace, grace and more grace! May the enemy have no open doors in the midst of the change.
4) Pray that as the new wine skin develops, disenfranchised believers would be brought back into the fold and be reunited with the Body of Christ in Zagreb.
5) Pray for a radical new mindset regarding evangelism. May selfless love prevail. May the Bride of Christ in Zagreb walk in such humility, honor and freedom, that they will be like rain on a dry and parched land.
6) Let us pray for the municipal officials that administer the daily workings of the city. May they be friendly and accommodating to Christian groups that plan events in city spaces so that the gospel can be freely proclaimed.
7) Pray for hope to be reawakened in citizens. May believers recognize the times they are living in and the opportunity they have been presented, to let His light shine in this city.
8) Let us pray for Zagreb as a city. Cities have strong character and themes. Pray that the Holy Spirit would hover over the city to insure peace.
Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
In preparation for the next IST project, Zuzanna just completed a prayer-walk across Croatia. The primary purpose of this walk was to release God’s blessing and transformative power, invite His glory and presence to this land. A part of this walk was to target specifically the Lika area of Croatia. The 305 km or about 200 mile walk which Zuzanna completed is quite a feat, and her blistered and aching feet tell the real story.
Lika is an area totaling 5,000 sq km or 2,000 sq miles in the heart of Croatia. The population of Lika is about 50,000 with no evangelical community of any kind. Lika experienced a major displacement of its population in the 1991-95 war that broke up the former Yugoslavia. During the war between Serbian and Croatian ethnic groups many Serbs left due to the fighting. The war ended 23 years ago, yet many of those who remained in these areas, to this day live in homes damaged by bombs and shelling. There are believed to be over 46,000 land mines still unaccounted for today in Croatia, and a large portion are in Lika. Restoration is slow and spotty. Jobs are scarce and hopelessness is rampant. We believe that a cry for justice was heard during this prayer walk. There are many villages and small towns which resemble places frozen in time, but there are three main cities in Lika which we are initially focusing on: Gospić, Otočac and Gračac.
God is connecting the dots! As we have formed an advisory team specifically for the Lika Project, we are encouraged at the level of interest by key leaders. We also see that God has already been preparing key individuals and He is very rapidly connecting us with them.
The Upper Room HOP
The house of prayer is going exceptionally well. We continue to meet five days a week praying and inviting His presence to invade earth. We had a testimony time the other day and we realized God is working in all the ones attending. One lady’s business is showing increase and another man has picked up a guitar after many years of resenting it. And there are others.
1) Please pray for us at IST Group. May we be faithful to plow, sow and reap the field we are planted in.
2) May Zuzanna's steps across Croatia be a declaration to the enemy that transformation is on the way!
3) Pray for Lika:
a. Socioeconomic development is needed almost form the ground up.
b. Pray that new laws would be passed giving incentives for industry to return to Lika
c. Pray that agriculture would return. Pr 13:23 says “There is much food in the fallow ground of the poor and because of a lack of justice there is waist.” Lika is beautiful and full of natural recourses. Let’s cry out for justice in this land!
d. Pray for our growing Lika team to know how to love well. In order to feed the spiritual needs of the people, we must know how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Lika.
e. Pray for Jesus to be lifted up so the people can see the power of His resurrection.
f. Pray for IST Group and our efforts in the Lika Project. May we hear His heart and move to His heartbeat which will unlock His strategies for this largely unreached region.
4) Pray for Upper Room Zagreb house of prayer. May God continue to bring those that want to go deeper with Him.
Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.